Brill’s New Pauly

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(391 words)

[German version]

(θῆτες; thêtes). According to the oldest evidence (Hom. Od. 4,644; 11,489; Hes. Op. 602), members of the lower peasant class in Greek communities of the Archaic Period. In all likelihood they were freemen in the sense of personal law, living as domestics in the home of their employer, at first mostly farmers, or hiring themselves out as day-labourers or seasonal workers. The word therefore later became a synonym for 'wage worker' (Pl. Plt. 290a; Isoc. Or. 14,48; Aristot. Pol. 1278a 12 f., cf. Hdt. 8,137,2) and referred to the poorer cla…

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Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg), “Thetes”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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